The Making of the Legends of Sailing Regatta

Published on April 13th, 2017

We are big fans of club events that activate the membership, and of events that enlighten youth sailors about life beyond youth sailing. Russ Silvestri has hit both of these targets with a new event at St Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA. Here is his report.


2017-04-13_14-37-13111An all-new event on April 21 will bridge the gap between our Club’s Legends by celebrating those who have been Legends, those competing who hope to become Legends, and our youth that dream to one day be a Legend.

The regatta is known as the Legends of Sailing. My idea (as a 40-year loyal servant of the kingdom of St. Francis) behind it was to create a Club championship showcasing the most members putting skin in the game, and to provide an opportunity to back it up.

The Legends were determined at the discretion of Commodore Kiriakis; he exerted his commodorial influence, waved his wand, and said it was so. The thought is that the Legends are like NFL team owners, in charge of fielding a team and managing their play on the field.

However, unlike the NFL’s 32 teams, we only have ten because, let’s face it, we are more selective than the NFL. The ten chosen Legends have been tasked with putting together the best team they can muster, prepared to fight for the honor of the Club.

I have discovered all of the Legends “believe” they have the skills to compete in the arena until they hear of the competition. Most have not chosen a martyrdom and have passed the baton to a skipper willing to suffer for the Glory of the Legend. The skippers/jockeys will be riding the horse (read: J/22) provided to them by their Legend.

On the sidelines in the realm of “Skin in the Game”, Club members will be able to show their support by taking a line on any team in the Calcutta Pool, managed by Staff Commodore Rick Pfaff. Legends are encouraged to bring an entourage dressed in their team’s colors because shoreside spirit earns points (the largest entourage saves 2 points on that team’s score).

As for the Legends of the Future, this event is our opportunity to inspire our youth by showing them the depth of legendry that exists at their Club. The sailing rosters are still being finalized, but we have Olympians, World Champions and US Sailing Yachtsmen of the Year signed up to sail. I want our youth to know the power within the Club and the resources this Club has to build champions and teach life’s lessons on the water.

Where else will you find Cinde Delmas building a mighty all-women’s team to challenge Staff Commodore Doug Holm with his skipper Paul Cayard? Will Sean Svendsen prove he is a Legend or go down a martyr? What happens when you match Knarr sailors against foiling kiteboarders? Or Commodores against a Chairman of the Board? The answer, my friends, will be blowing in the wind at the Legends Regatta.

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